Bradford Raises the Bar
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As I've gotten into reading and writing reviews I've considered a hypothetical question: "Can a shorter, easier course, earn a 4+ rating?"
Until I played Bradford I would have said no. I didn't think that a short course could be so well designed, maintained, and executed to earn this high of a rating from me. I was mistaken. Bradford raises the bar on what what I previously though possible from free to play public property courses that are playable by any skill level. It really is that good.
Course was meticulously well maintained. Spring in NC is hard to keep the weeds at bay, and the rough was very well managed, keeping the lost disc factor very low. There was not a fallen branch or unmowed strip of grass to be found anywhere.
The little touches make a big difference. The course was easy to navigate, tee signs were very good, and benches were frequent as well as very nice.
In my opinion disc golf is at its best when played in the woods, and Bradford shows why. The course design requires a high degree of technical control of your disc at a variety of different distances and lines. Despite being a bit on the short end compared to my other favorite courses I still felt like this course challenged all aspects of my game.
The few holes through the cedar grove were very nice. A little bit of distance, which always makes someone with power happy to pull a high speed driver out, while still needing precise shot location.
Well developed long AND short tees. I usually play with my girlfriend, so having holes that play awesome from BOTH tees really adds to a course. A lot of courses throw longer or shorter tees in as an afterthought without really looking at how they play, but at Bradford they were very well executed.
Cons: I don't really have any. I guess I will say that not a lot of holes stick in my mind as spectacular. The par 4 through the cedar grove was very nice, but other then that the holes blurred together a little bit. They were all tight, wooded, technical, and reachable off the tee (for me, sans the par 4s). I think for Bradford the whole is greater then the sum of its parts
Other Thoughts: Bradford really grew on me as my round progressed. I didn't have particularly high expectations, I figured I'd get a standard issue Charlotte wooded course. But it kept growing on me as I progressed from one hole to the next. By the back nine I was telling myself "this is a really good course". By 18 I was telling myself "This course is incredible!" I don't feel like there is much to add. I get to Charlotte a couple times a year and Bradford is definitely going to be a go to course for the foreseeable future. I think it belongs in the conversation with some of the giants in the area.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Fun, challenging, beautiful course
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Well maintained, you can tell the club? city? takes good care of this course
Gorgeous park this time of year (February)
Cons: Nothing jumps out at me as big Cons for this course
There wasn't much relief from tight wooded holes, but it didn't get aggravating
Clay/dirt ground is slick and muddy in some places
Other Thoughts: I'm new to town, and this happened to be the first course I've played here. And what a course to play first!
Its obvious that the club members or city takes great pride in this course, as the pathways, tees, benches etc. were all in great shape compared to some other courses I've played.
The "Cedar Alley" section of the course is a cool change of scenery from the tight wooded fairways, but doesn't offer much relief as far as difficulty.
Overall a challenging course that really focuses on accuracy and shot shaping. Very fun to play, even the first time through.
Generally easy to follow the course as most baskets had signs leading to the next hole nearby.
Some cool variation in elevation was also a nice change coming from Florida where its flat flat flat.
I look forward to playing this course again, and hopefully lowering awful score.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Solid - it grew on me
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - great DG course setting. Nice benches (like what you would find in a lodge style hotel, not 1"x8"s bolted to 4"x4"s). Great signage (plus directional arrows between holes when needed). There was a garbage bag at every sign (and the course was in great shape - there was garbage in the park, but it was probably from the non-DG activities - kudos to the locals).
- lots of variation. For a NC course, multiple "open" holes to bomb on. Challenging, tighter (but not unfair) wooded holes. Good mix of long and short holes (so a few ace runs without feeling like they were trying to squeeze in 18 from the short tees). There are four holes (on called cedar alley) with a lot of cedar trees - unique to this course in this part of the country.
- nice park, have only played on weekdays, could see it getting busy on the weekend. The bathroom in between 11-12 has drinking fountains.
- two pads on most (if not all?) holes. Many of them offer a truly different shot (some much longer), not just slightly different angel tucked behind a tree so we can call it two different pads.
- water that doesn't "really" come into play, but will make you consider your shot.
- bridges, stairs, etc keep you out of the mud in low lying areas
- course layout is pretty intuitive (plus signs all show next hole) so it's easy to navigate and there is plenty of space between holes, so minimal risk of getting drilled by someone else.
- there's a 9-hole loop (jump from 4-14) if you don't have time for a full round.
Cons: - fairly ticky-tack, but it's not super convenient to get to from 85 corridor (if you're not coming from that direction, guess it won't bother you).
- relatively high disc loss risk on the cedar holes if you shank a shot (which it's so tempting to go high and rip, because it's "only" ~300' to the basket..... )
- one other minor one, the transition from 15-16 isn't super intuitive, (or maybe I just missed the directional sign). If you have the map, or have a good sense of direction, it's no big deal, the rest of the course is so well marked, it stuck out.
Other Thoughts: When I came back and played this course the second time, I liked it much better. Don't know if I was in a rush the first time, having a bad day - glad I waited to review it until the second play. Although not "unfair" with super tight fairways, I would call this course more of an intermediate course. I can't quite out my finger on it - don't know if it's design, if it's my disc selection not quite being dialed in, but it seemed like I spent a lot of time looking for discs without really having terrible shots. So, maybe not the best course to start someone on.
5-10 years from now, the cedar alley holes are going to be tough (although maybe you will be less likely to lose discs because you will have to hit the tunnel instead of trying to bomb over them).
My favorite hole was 13 (probably just because I hit the line) nice valley shot. 12 is enjoyable, get to rip with the RHBH hyzer going into a hill, then you have to deal with the retention pond on your approach shot.
Bottom line - super solid course. Challenging, well laid out, varied course. I'm not a local, but travel to charlotte for work on a regular basis. This course is good, but it's in a rotation of several courses (Nevin, kilborne, idlewild, hornet's nest) that I am going to get through before I'm back here. If this were my home course, I'd be stoked.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Let me start out by saying Schleppy is an awesome guy. He was out picking up garbage while we were out there and you could tell he cares about the course a lot. He helped us navigate the front 11 or so holes and told us about the rest of the course.
Now about the course: This course had a good variety of holes and gave opportunities to score well while also the challenge of staying in bounds and avoiding roll aways, etc. I was very impressed with the signage, the flow of the course, and the overall layout of the holes. Each hole was very unique and that makes it hard for me to pick my favorite hole. The signage was top notch, and we never had a time where we were wondering where the basket was or looking around for a tee pad. The paths in between holes were very well defined and there were signs going to every hole.
Cons: Upon entering the park, there is a sign that points towards the disc golf course, but maybe it could be placed in a better place or made a little bigger. We didn't notice it at first and took a wrong turn. This wasn't a big deal but for some out of towners, like I am, it proved an issue. I would also say that 2 and 18 are kind of lackluster compared to the other holes. This is something that may not can be done, but the addition of some small trees or bushes in the open areas would at least add a little challenge after the initial tee shot. Outside of those small cons, there is not much negative to say.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this was a very fun course. It had its challenges while also allowing us to score well. This was one of the many courses we played, and are still playing, on our big road trip to Charlotte and it did not disappoint. As I said earlier, thanks to Schleppy for the help getting around and for your dedication to keeping the course nice and tidy. That goes for other locals as well. Thanks for a great experience Bradford!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Check out the Big Brain on Brad!
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 18 Discatcher baskets with dual concrete tees on most holes. The variety and design of holes is outstanding as the available terrain and elevation are used nicely. The course plays a bit a of everything from open bombs to short technical shots that go into, out, and through the woods and around a pond and creek. Mostly par 3 with a couple par 4s. Navigation and signage is great. Bathrooms and vending machine after hole 11.
Cons: It's really hard to think of much, the course plays a little close to the parking lot on 2 holes. I could see it being crowded because it's such a playable course.
Other Thoughts: Bradford is an excellent course for anyone. The course just flows and transitions it's variety seamlessly from hole to hole. The only knock I can come up with which is no fault of anyone, is that there is not much elevation to provide some truly epic holes. That said I enjoyed pretty much every hole, the par 4 hole 12 was probably my favorite like many others, I like how the drive makes or breaks the approach shot to the basket next to the pond. I could play this course everyday it's like a mighty tasty Big Kahuna burger!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course has a nice amount of variety. About 2/3 is wooded, with some being very tight lines to hit (#9) but with most leaving a little room for error. There are a few pretty open holes as well. I liked the use of the cedar trees on holes 8 and 11, a little reminiscent of Maple Hill.
One of the better holes is #12, which begins with a drive from an elevated tee across a small valley to an open area before sweeping to the right. The second shot is tough, as you either lay up on the near side of a pond or go for the pin with danger in front and behind (a hill leading down to the woods). I'm still thinking about how I should have played this hole.
Elevation is moderate and comes into play on about half the holes. All holes have two tee pads, both concrete.
Navigation was easy, and I never consulted the map. The tee signs did a decent job of showing the contours of the fairway, but many of the holes are short enough that you can see the basket (from the short tees, anyway).
Cons: The alternate tee pads are almost always located right behind the short pads, so you don't get to throw more interesting shots, just longer ones (with a few exceptions). There are a couple that are way longer, though. About half of the extra 1000 feet from the long tees comes from just two holes: 8 and 18.
The distances on the tee signs can not be right. They seemed too high, but more to the point, there are times when the two tee pads are clearly within 30 feet of each other (front to front), and the tee signs show a distance of something like 60 feet.
Other Thoughts: The course is mostly pretty friendly to rec players who can throw fairly straight, but holes 12 and 15 feature a murky pond that is just waiting to eat a RHBH hyzer. I like the pond and the use of it, but just know that newer players could easily lose discs here.
Also, while I like the cedar holes, your only option is to throw right over them, and if you can't throw 350 feet, you are left with some awkward shots out. So these holes are a bit less rec friendly as well, for what it's worth. But I don't mind having to throw a thumber now and then.
This felt more secluded than many of the Charlotte courses I played, and I like the country feeling of it, including the nice wooden bridges with railings. If you are looking for a course that is not the championship-caliber beat down that some of the big courses in the area offer, this is one of the better options.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Gotta Love Bradford! I fell in love with this course the first time I played it and will continue to play it as often as I can. It's a challenging yet fun course to play. There's flat holes, hilly holes, long holes, short holes, it's got it all. A very nice gem in Huntersville. I'm not a great player but I come out with a handful of pars on both sides! #9 is my favorite so far. Made par on it the first 2 times I played there. Cedar Alley is always fun. Very clean course with trash bags at every hole. Very nice Cedar benches to sit on too!
Other Thoughts: Definitely a Must Play if your in the area. Can't wait to play it again!
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Sometimes straightforward, sometimes insane
Pros: + Variety of hole layouts - really dig playing into the woods, out of the woods, and back into the woods
+ Course was in decent shape even after heavy rains the week before we played
+ Some mighty fine teepads and easy to see Innova baskets
+ Classy end tables at some of the first holes to place your bag
+ Confidence building amateur tees
+ Scenery: mature w00ds, fields, a variety trees, awesome bridges all over the place... Really appreciated them bridges. No trolls, thankfully.
+ Next tee signs are always helpful and I appreciated the hole nicknames being written on them
+ Decent elevation change, super fun to throw over valleys and creeks (or cricks as my dad calls them)
+ Really appreciated the whiz palaces on hole 1 and 11
Cons: - The biggest downside for beginners was the little water hazards that, while cool, were positioned to MESS with you (5 holes with hazards)
- Drainage mudpit with sarlacc to the left of hole 3's fairway almost swallowed a disc, but was recovered barefoot
- A couple holes had mean and nasty bushes with huge thorns on them
- Did not like throwing next to the parking lot
Other Thoughts: Biggest take away point that I think you should know about is that the course, while known as an intermediate/advanced course, can definitely be a good learning course, too. It's hard, that's a fact, but not so hard that beginners won't have fun.
The environment was the absolute best part. It's secluded and out of the way of the other courses. There was no one around (early on Friday) and we had such a great time. My buddies had never played a full round of disc golf anywhere, and although Bailey was really nearby and is supposed to be the best course for a beginners, we chose Bradford because of recommendations on the DGCR forums. It was actually a really good course to teach on because Bradford has it all: straight holes, doglegs (both hyzerz and anhyzerz), long bombs, and short shots. We were all using brand new discs (Volt, Axis, and Anode each) and that was all we needed to feel well-equipped to battle the course. We did somehow lose one disc on 16 (red Neutron Anode to the left of the bridge, may have went into the stream as it was moving quite a bit after the rain), but we also had an adventure recovering one from the sarlacc mud pit on 3. In the end we all agreed we enjoyed this course immensely. It was a great course to learn judging each shot's risk and reward.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Bradford Park in Huntersville NC is a very nice course and very much in line with the high quality of disc golf in the Charlotte area, and across North Carolina. Mixed into the course are different looks from elevated tees or baskets, water, woods with different varieties of trees in isolated areas, and versatile length on many holes with long and short tees. I played the short tees and still found the course very fun and challenging. I loved the layout, which was well marked and easy to follow. A short 9 hole loop is an option if you have to rush, but it would be hard to skip the inner circle to me. Wind and elevation added difficulty on the more open holes, and the fairways were always nicely defined in the woods. Some long holes, and some good birdie chances as well.
Located in a multi use park, most holes are out of the way from roads and other park patrons. Benches were abundant. The concrete tees are all nice and level, and the baskets are good too. Signs mark each tee box, and signs guide the transitions between holes also.
Cons: There were not a lot of trash receptacles on the course, but not entirely absent, and more could be added. Water was in play at several points, and could easily result in lost plastic from errant throws or bad rolls. Also some thick rough in places. Not the most beginner friendly course.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed Bradford Park immensely, and recommend a visit to any serious disc golf enthusiast who happens to be nearby. A great setting for a course, and very well executed. A bit of room for improvement, but excellent as is. Sort of reminds me of Redan or Deer Lick in ATL.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Great mix at Bradford
Pros: This is a very fun course that is more open than many of the Charlotte courses that I played. Along with the open there are some awesome wooded holes with elevation coming into play. Water and OB comes into play on quite a few holes making it very challenging. There are some nasty putting greens too.
There are short and long concrete tees that were installed perfectly.
Brand new Innova Discatchers.
Tee signs were in great shape at the time I played and it was easy to navigate the course.
If you want to learn how to throw a mid range disc this is the place to do it. If you can master a 250 to 325ft mid range you can just destroy this course. About half the course fits into that category.
Hole #12 is an awesome par 4. It's an L shaped hole that recquires a solid drive to the corner. From there you have to make a great shot to a sloped green. One side has water and the other side is a large drop off. Great hole!!
Hole #3 is a great looking hole from the tee. It plays slightly downhill and it was on top of a HUGE boulder!
The course flows really well. There are no long walks and there is a stop by a restroom after hole #11.
Cons: I really liked the course but found myself throwing the same disc over an over. I threw the same Roc off the tee on holes 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, & 16.
I like hole #8 but I would not want to play that hole by myself from the long tee. After it leaves your hand it's very difficult to see where it lands. There is a good chance you can lose it in the many trees and rough in the fairway.
Other Thoughts: Just like all the other Charlotte Area courses this one is super fun and challenging.
The 41 that Michael Johansen shot at Pro Worlds blows my mind! The other top pros were shooting in the 46 to 50 range. Go try that from the long tees!!
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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